Just added: A new page featuring the passages from the Constitution mentioning presidential electors. (Interestingly, the term “Electoral College” never appears in the Constitution, although it has been established in statute.)

Specifically, this includes the texts of:

Article II, Section 1 (1789)

  • The concept of electors was introduced.
  • The original voting process was laid out. Each elector was to cast two votes; The top vote getter became president, and the second became vice president. (This was changed with the Twelfth Amendment.)
  • Established the House contingency whereby if no one received votes from a majority of electors, the president would be elected by the House, one vote per state. The vice presidency did not require a majority, but there was a Senate contingency in the case of a tie for #2.
  • Set the requirement that the electors vote in their own states on a day chosen by Congress.

Twelfth Amendment (1804)

  • Changed the rules such that the electors would now cast separate votes for president and vice president.
  • A majority vote for vice president was now required to avoid triggering the Senate contingency.

Fourteenth Amendment (1868)

  • Overrode the provision under which slaves counted as 3/5 of a person for purposes of Congressional and Electoral College apportionment, yet had 0/5 right to vote. Also theoretically reduced apportionment for states that blocked ex-slaves from voting.
  • If I’m not mistaken, contained the first constitutional reference to popular election of presidential electors: “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States…”
  • Banned officials who had participated in insurrection, rebellion, or treason (in the Civil War context) from holding federal office, including that of elector.

Twenty-Third Amendment (1961)

  • Granted electoral votes to the District of Columbia.

Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964)

  • Banned poll taxes in elections for federal offices including presidential elector.

The full text of these passages can be found on the aforementioned new Constitution page.

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